The Best Entrepreneur Award Ceremony of the Southern Province will be held on Thursday 18 February at Golden Pearl Hotel in Tangalle. The event is organised by the National Enterprise Development Authority (NEDA) in collaboration with the Hambantota District Chamber of Commerce (HDCC) and supported by the Chambers of Commerce in Galle and Matara, Consulate General of India Hambantota office and Southern Province Development Authority.
This event was supposed to be held in year 2020 and due to the latest COVID-19 safety precautions it was brought to the year 2021. This is the consecutively fifth time the award ceremony is taking place and feted the SMEs in the Southern Province. The awards are designed to encourage the business community in the province to improve their standards of business practices and achieve higher levels of entrepreneurship. NEDA has selected the HDCC to manage the evaluation process and organise the ceremony.
Minister of Industries Wimal Weerawansa will be the Chief Guest while Minister Youth Affairs and Sports Namal Rajapaksa will be joining the event as Guest of Honour. Other Special Guests participating are State Minister – Aviation and Export Zones Development D.V. Chanaka, Parliament Member and Hambantota District Coordinating Committee Chairman Dr. Upull Galappaththi, Consul General of India P.R. Dipin, NEDA Chairman Anushka Gunasinghe, University of Ruhuna Vice Chancellor Prof. Sujeewa Amarasena, Ruhunu Tourism Bureau Chairman Chaminda Sooriyapatabandi, District Secretaries of Hambantota, Matara and Galle, Southern Province Development Authority Chairman Charith Lasantha, National Enterprise Development Authority Officers, Presidents of the Galle, Matara and Hambantota District Chambers of Commerce. Representatives from the Government, NGOs and private companies will also participate in the event.
NEDA has provided partial funding for the event, which is also sponsored by the Consulate General of India Hambantota office, Southern Province Development Authority. Significantly this year the event feted micro scale entrepreneurs with the objective of encouraging and felicitating their commitment to the country’s economy and improving their capacity to the next level of entrepreneurship. Winners are selected by a panel of judges who evaluated entrepreneurs’ submissions, conducted interviews and field visits. The competition presented awards for three sector categories under four size categories, as well as eight special awards will include over all 27 awards.